JUNE 16, 1979


Born November 16, 1894, in Pawhuska, Oklahoma (OK), John was a flight instructor with the 25th Squadron in World War I. Mathews later earned a geology degree from University of OK (OU) in 1920, attended Oxford University, and studied international relations at University of Geneva. His 1st book, WahKon-tah: The Osage and the White Man’s Road (1932) was OU Press’ 1st Book of the Month Club selection. Sundown (1934) treated the 1920s oil boom swindles & murders of the Osage. Talking to the Moon (1945) was followed by Life and Death of an Oilman: The Career of E. W. Marland (1951), The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (1961), and by Twenty Thousand Mornings & Old Three Toes and Other Tales of Survival and Extinction published posthumously (2012 & 2015). Helping the Osage re-establish their tribal government & create a tribal museum, he also was on the Tribal Council (1934-42). In 1996, Mathews was inducted into the OK Historians Hall of Fame. He died in Pawhuska.

  Guy Logsdon, “Mathews, John Joseph (1895-1979), Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture.  Retrieved 11/23/2021, http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/M/MA037.html
Photo: Andrew T. Kelley, Bureau of Indian Affairs, 12/16/1937. Public Domain.  

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